Lung disease is a major health challenge: each year over 400 000 individuals in the United States die of lung disease. The spectrum is broad, including obstructive diseases (COPD, emphysema), interstitial diseases (pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis), malignancies, vascular disorders (pulmonary hypertension), and genetic diseases (cystic fibrosis). Although a variety of treatment options exist for each syndrome, in many cases the only definitive treatment is lung transplantation. However, lung transplantation suffers from low donor organ availability, significant morbidity from post-transplant infection and organ rejection, and overall poor patient prognosis. In this review, we describe current regenerative medicine techniques that hold promise for lung disease, and identify key factors that will impact the successful development of regenerative lung therapies.
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Materials Today (2011) 14(5), 196-201